One of the big misconceptions that ignorant people have about food challenges is that they are very wasteful since so much more food is involved. In reality though, food challenges are not any more wasteful than regular restaurant menu items, and most likely even less wasteful. If you haven’t already, feel free to read Are Food Challenges Wasteful? to find out more information regarding how not wasteful food challenges really are.

Reducing the waste of challenge food is a team effort between the restaurants and challenge participants. Obviously, it is the job of the eater to finish all the food that your restaurant places in front of him or her, but if every person won your challenge then it would not really be considered a food challenge. Here are some things that restaurants can do to help reduce the amount of food wasted during and after each of the challenges:

Let people take the leftovers home – Almost all restaurants do this already, but make sure you ask the losing challengers if they would like their leftovers packaged up to take home and eat later. This works just like it does for any other ordinary restaurant customer. Since he or she is paying full price for the meal, that person is more likely to bring the remains home, especially if there is a portion left untouched. If they won’t eat it, their roommate, child, significant other, friend, or dog most likely will. Some people take challenges already knowing they will have leftovers to bring home. This is the most practical and most accepted way to avoid wasting food.

Turn the leftovers into a meal – I have only seen this once, and I completely loved the idea. A Mexican restaurant advertised that if you fail their burrito challenge, they would take off the existing tortilla and make you a new smaller burrito with the remains. This takes food that most people would not want to eat later, and turns it into an actual appetizing meal that he or she will want to eat. The restaurant saved the challenge food all for the price of a tortilla which cost next to nothing. Can you do something like this with your food challenge?

For quantity record challenges, only bring out portions at a time – If you have a taco record challenge and the record to beat is 35, do not bring out all 36 tacos at one time for a person trying to beat the record. Let the person start with 12 or 20 tacos and then bring out more as he or she continues eating. This is a great way to prevent waste, and it also saves the person from paying for food that he or she wasn’t ever able to consume.

Make your challenge delicious – This is my last and most obvious suggestion, but the best solution for making sure food does not get wasted is to make it so tasty that people actually want to eat it later. If a 72oz steak is cooked perfectly and tastes delicious the whole way through, a person is going to want to take the leftovers home. If the steak is overcooked and tough to eat which requires a full bottle of sauce to taste good, then he or she will most likely not want to take the food home. There are some challenges I’ve beaten that I wanted to order again just so that I could have one later, and then there are some I’ve beaten that I don’t want to eat again. Make your challenge delicious and people will want to make sure nothing gets wasted. It’s a win for everyone!!

Thanks for reading about how to reduce food challenge waste and using!!

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